A Jackson Township police officer has just filed a lawsuit after a driver she stopped for traffic violations then crashed by reversing into the police car.

The driver, who then fled on foot and was ultimately apprehended, was driving to pick up chickens for a Lakewood kapparos center, public records obtained by FAA News indicate.

On September 13, 2021, on-duty Jackson Township Police Officer Lauren Hornfeck initiated a traffic stop on a motor vehicle at the intersection of White Road and Bellevue Avenue.

The driver initially came to a stop. However, as Officer Hornfeck started to place her vehicle into park, the driver began backing up and struck the police vehicle. Officer Hornfeck was still in the vehicle when it was struck.

As Officer Hornfeck exited the police car, the driver of the other vehicle fled on foot. A passenger remained in the vehicle.

The police car sustained damage to the push bumper and front bumper.

The vehicle is registered to Congregation HO (Hachnosas Orchim Bais Hatavshil) Lakewood.

While the police were searching for the hit and run driver, the owner of the vehicle responded to the scene and told the police officers that earlier that day he was looking someone to drive the van to pick up chickens for kapparos, and this driver was available and took the job. He stated that he did not know the driver's identity.

Ultimately, detectives determined that the vehicle was driven by a Lakewood resident. He was charged with leaving an accident that caused damage (39:4-129b), backing or turning in street (39:4-127), reckless driving (39:4-96), and failure to report a car accident (39:4-130). The vehicle was towed and impounded.

Officer Hornfeck, a resident of Jackson Township, has now filed a civil lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court in Ocean County naming as defendants both the Lakewood resident and Congregation HO (Hachnosas Orchim Bais Hatavshil) Lakewood.

The Complaint, filed by Brick Township Attorney Donald W. Bedell, Jr. Esq., alleges that "as a direct and proximate result of the carelessness and negligence of the defendants, the plaintiff sustained severe personal injuries, has and will suffer pain, has and will incur medical expenses, and has and will be unable to engage in her usual occupation and activities, all to her damage."

The parties have 35 days to formulate an Answer to the Complaint.

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